Co-op Gifu starts a joint Cargo and Passenger Consolidation business with Hida City and Nohi Bus


On October 6, a ceremony was held at the Nohi Bus Kamioka office to mark the start of the Cargo and Passenger Consolidation Business utilizing public transportation under "the Hida City Shopping Assistance Cooperation Agreement" by Hida City, Nohi Noriai Jidosha Co., Ltd. (Nohi Bus) and Co-op Gifu.


This three-party joint project has made it possible to continue to provide shopping support to communities (areas) where shopping has become difficult due to a declining and aging population and falling birthrate.

Shopping difficulties in Yamanomura District:
Hida city, in the Yamanomura district of Kamioka, is located about 1,000 meters above sea level and is about a 50-minute drive from downtown Kamioka on a mountain road. There are no supermarkets in the district, and until now, mobile sales services provided by private businesses have been the main means of shopping and supporting the daily lives of the residents. However, in the spring of last year, it became difficult to continue the service, and residents were faced with the challenge of getting support for their shopping needs.

In addition, about 20 households in the Yamanomura district are members of Co-op Gifu and use the co-op's services. Ordered goods delivered to the base are picked up by "supporters" (residents who have a delivery consignment contract with Co-op Gifu) and deliver them to co-op members. Supporters used to come to Kamioka city every week to pick up the goods and return to the Yamanomura district to deliver them to the co-op members, but the distance they had to travel, and the snowfall made delivery a heavy burden, and the sustainability and continuity of the program in the future became a big concern.

Shopping assistance through a 3-party joint business:
To address this issue, Hida City, Nohi Bus, and Co-op Gifu have teamed up to launch the Cargo-Passenger Consolidation Project, which utilizes the public transportation to transport passengers and cargo together. Co-op Gifu's goods are loaded onto city buses that run between Kamioka city and Yamanomura and transported to a stop in Yamanomura to reduce the burden on supporters and to promote continuous shopping support.

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Loading goods onto a city bus. The last row of seats is used as a space for loading.
 On this day, products for 15 households were loaded.
Departure Ceremony:
Speaking at the departure ceremony, Mr. TSUZUKU, the Mayor of Hida City, said, " We are pleased to launch the mixed-cargo service to solve a major problem of shopping support in the Yamanomura district. We have been able to achieve this thanks to the cooperation we have built up with Nohi Bus and Co-op Gifu. We would like to use this project as a model for solving issues related to the declining population, falling birthrate, and aging society through public-private partnerships".

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Mr. OTSUBO, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Co-op Gifu, commented, "I am pleased that the three parties are working together to promote this initiative. As the population of Japan declines along with the aging of the population and declining birthrate, I believe that this initiative is the first step toward the future. We look forward to working together to contribute to residents and local industries".

Mr. MIZUNO, President, and Representative Director of Nohi Bus, also commented, "The mixed-cargo service will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and lead to the promotion of SDGs, such as creating a sustainable community where people can continue to live in a sense of security". 
Mr. OGAYA, Chairman of Yamanomura Promotion Council concluded by saying, "Local residents and supporters are very happy with the service. I hope this will become one of the countermeasures for the elderly and other vulnerable shoppers".
After the departure ceremony, the bus headed to the Yamanomura district and handed over the goods to the supporters waiting at the bus stop.


*This bus operator is headquartered in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture, and operates a route bus and charter bus business.
**Co-op Gifu is a Consumer Co-operative mainly engaged in home delivery and store operations in Gifu Prefecture with a membership of about 252,024 (as of March 20, 2022) and a total business turnover of about 29.4 billion yen (FY2021) 

tags: Cargo and Passenger Consolidation Business, Shopping difficulties, Shopping supports